A mother's day in between.
I woke up this morning trying to figure out if it was Sunday or Monday. Could I just roll over, or was I already running late for something? Was I allowed to keep sleeping, or did I need to race over to my computer? I finally recalled that yesterday was Saturday, so today must be Sunday. But a different Sunday. Today is Mother's Day.
I was buying flowers a few days ago next to a man who was putting a bouquet together for his wife who's due for the first time in October. I shared with him that I'd never even considered thinking of this year as my first year to celebrate the holiday, although I might be in the minority. I don't think of myself as a mom yet. I still sleep and take showers and have a few unstained white shirts to my name. I haven't truly struggled. I don't know the pain, although I do have very large feet suddenly. Still, if you are a pregnant woman counting this as your first Mother's Day, I salute you. And I'm actually kind of jealous. One extra year of pancakes in bed would surely not have killed me should I have thought of this sooner.
But after realizing what day it was and that it was actually a very special day at that, I felt differently than I've ever felt before on Mother's Day. The first thing I thought of was all the women and men without mothers today, those whose mothers have passed, those who never knew their mothers, those who are at odds with their mothers and had to be their own mothers. What a day to have to have a Facebook account if you fall into one of these categories. These individuals have a strength many will never know. They are true heroes.
I thought a lot about my own mother. Year after year I've written her a mother's day Facebook post recognizing the strength and "fabulouslty" that she's relatively famous for. My mom being fabulous is factual, but this morning I thought 'that's not why I love her.' I love my mom because she's mine.
Whether or not she wants you to know it, my mom is palpably real. He outward appearance of relative perfection has drawn many people to her, but I love her flaws the most. Like so many women, she is terribly hard on herself, but she really shouldn't be. She is many things to many people, but I love her for none of those reasons. I love her because she's my mom. She is many things I will never be - organized, clean, meticulous about her face-washing routine (I sleep in my make-up more often than not) - but she also gets me in a way that only a mother could understand her own daughter. She will always let me into her house to eat all of her (rabbit) food and sleep in her cleaner-than-hotel-sheets and her house will always smell like Peonies when mine smells like the cereal on my desk from three days ago. Still, our contrasts don't stop us for being each other's. This meant more to me this morning than it ever has in the past, perhaps because of the tiny feet in my stomach that are kicking me from the inside as I write this.
Lastly, I felt I had to acknowledge that Mother's Day is not a Hallmark card for most people, although social media would probably have us believe otherwise. No matter how much one loves their own mother, it can still be an awfully tricky day. We are "supposed" to feel a certain way today, but most feelings don't fit into a box (and certainly not a box that can be shared with several billion people.) We search for the least sentimental card in the aisle because feelings are weird, awkward and hard. The chocolate part is easier. It makes more sense to us.
Today is different for everyone. And, today is also an important day beyond my own prior realization for all the mamas that are raising our future and doing their best with the hardest job in the world every day. These mamas are true heroes, and I'm glad we take a day each year to celebrate them. They deserve much more, if you ask me.